Analyzing RA/AP Ideas

I am working on the topic of Parkinson’s Disease because I want to find out the best treatment methods in order to help my reader understand how to treat their patients better.

I am working on the topic of strokes because I want to find out all the new literature in order to help my reader understand the faster ways to help a stroke victim return to work faster.

I am working on the topic of amputees because I want to find out the best prosthetics in the field in order to help my reader understand what are the best prosthetics in the market.

I am working on the topic spinal cord injuries of because I want to find out the best retaliation practices in order to help my reader understand how to treat patients with spinal cord injuries better.

I am working on the topic of arthritis because I want to find out how arthritis correlates with the skill of writing in order to help my reader understand how to manage arthritis better.

I choose all these topics because they all relate to my occupation of Occupational Therapy. These are all topics an OT’s patients may have and these topics span across the disciplines of health, biology, and psychology.

Applied Project Ideas

Work with Campus Accessibility Services (CAS) to come up with innovative ideas from those with disabilities to have equal access to all the university programs and facilities. This hugely relates to my field as we strive to make the daily lives of those who are disabled more productive and independent. Some challenges that could arise may be funding related.

IDS: My Intellectual Journey

My intellectual journey started at a very young age. I always felt the need to adventure; my friends and I would all go outside for hours on end finding new spots to hang out. I feel this affected my intellectual life as I was always taking in new information. As I grow older I was never an all A’s student but kept on a steady pace will B’s every year. I had no clue what I wanted to do when I got out of high school. However, one day a person suggested something that would greatly influence my intellectual life. My counselor suggested that I take an A&P class because I was always good at science. From day one of the class, I loved it. Learning about our own bodies and what made us work was so interesting to me. From that class on I knew that I wanted to work in a health science field. I have always seen the world through a helpful eye and I wanted to help individuals become a better version of themselves. This is how I decided I wanted to pursue Occupational Therapy.

Now as I am currently in college there have been many things that shaped me into the scholar I am today. From professor to certain classes showed me the importance of understanding information from different perspectives. To be able to gather information, but still interpret that information for yourself and then apply it in the best possible way. I am not heavily invested in politics as others may be; I have my views but I do not express them to others. However, I feel strongly that everyone should have an equal chance to better themselves and become educated. This is one I am a huge fan in open education; it allows any individual to gain access to the same information and at a very low price if any. This is in one of the reasons that I choose to become an interdisciplinarian. The chance to create your own education, to be able to take information and apply it critically and to have a glimpse of the working world truly works. The best part about my journey is it is not over even though I am a senior. The journey never stops, we are always learning and becoming better version of ourselves every single day.

Pre-Occupational Therapy: IDS Essay

Since I was in high school I wanted my career to be in a field where I could benefit the lives of other I did not want to live life just making money. My mother recently went back to college and got her master’s degree; now she is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She works with people of all ages that need a little more help to live a normal life just like everyone else. This is why I choose to go into my program of Pre-Occupational Therapy. I not only wanted to fulfil my dreams of working in a field that helps others, but to also be able to follow in the footsteps of my wonderful mother. Pre-Occupational Therapy is a form of therapy for those recuperating from physical or mental illness that encourages rehabilitation through the performance of activities required in daily life. These actives are designed to help people in need to be able to fulfill their goals in life whether they are trying to get a job or to go to work. No other major at PSU could meet the needs of Pre-Occupational Therapy because there so many prerequisite classes that are needed from many disciplines. Plymouth State University simply does not offer the standard major of Occupational Therapy (OT).

             Pre-Occupational Therapy requires many courses from many disciplines that a contract had to be formed. This contract contains courses mostly from the disciplines of biology and psychology. This is due to having to know a lot about a patient’s body, their psychological state, and their disabilities that are limiting them from having a normal life. The first course in the contract is IS2222 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. This course is one of the key building blocks to my own major. It builds a structure opportunity to frame and plan a deliberate and thoughtful interdisciplinary program of study. My next course in my contact is IS4420 Interdisciplinary Studies Senior Seminar. This course is closely related to the IDS Intro class and is the other key building block to my major. This course is in my contract because it gives me a chance as a senior to reflect. When I am older and ready to graduate I get a chance to look back at my accomplishments and even my failures. Through this I am able to celebrate what I did and learn from what I could have done better. This course will teach me what it really means to be an educated person and how to take what I have learned and apply it into the real working world.

The next class on my contract is PE2731 Motor Development. In this course I will examine and analyze changes in motor behavior across the lifespan, the processes that underlie these changes, and the factors that affect them. This is greatly important to my program because as an Occupational Therapist we need to understand the underlying process of the development of motor functions and how those functions can relate to mental or physical disabilities. The next course in the contract is PE3270 Motor Learning. In Motor Learning I will be examining the theoretical foundations and related literature that underlie the learning, performing, and retention of motor skills with implications for teaching, coaching, and physical rehabilitation. This course is very key to my program; OT is about taking our knowledge, and sharing and teaching that information to those with disabilities so they can have a normal structured life. Continuing on the list the next course on the contract is PE3570 Kinesiology. In this course I will be studying the application of biomechanical principles and concepts to human movement. The course examines both qualitative and quantitative perspectives of muscular movement, the mechanics and analysis of human motion. This class in a fundamental class to all health sciences programs. In OT when working with a patient with a motor disability knowing how the body moves and what the mechanics of the movements are is extremely important. We need to understand what is happening and why the body is moving in certain ways to fully understand the disability.

The next course on the contract is PS2010 General Psychology. This will help me understand psychology as a scientific study. Having this knowledge is key to understanding the brain and how we think. While treating other we need to know what they are thinking and how they feel; this is important so we can design our intervention around the patient. The next course is PS2010 Lifespan Development Psychology. This course teaches the principles underlying physical, cognitive, emotional and social development through the life-span. Life is very predictable; OT’s need to understand predisposing conditions for certain disabilities in life. PS4320 Abnormal Psychology teaches the causes and methods of treatment of the major forms of psychopathology. This may be one of the most important classes on my contract. As an OT our job is to work with people with disabilities and be able to recognize their conditions and treat them in the best way possible.  The next course is PS3170 Child Development. This course will discuss information about an individual’s process of development from the end of infancy to the beginning of adolescence. The content includes factors affecting intellectual, social and physical development. This is also another key course because this stage of life is a very sensitive period for developing problems throughout life. OT’s also need to treat children so this course is very important. The next course is PS3100 Adolescent Psychology. The content that this course will hold will be the physical, intellectual, social and ethical development between puberty and adulthood. It is important for future occupational therapists to understand the development of the brain and body throughout all stages of life since in the field we will be working with varies populations of patients.

The next course in my contract is S02220 Foundations of Sociology. In this course we will learn and analyze issues that arise from social class, race, gender, religion and politics. This information is needed because we need to understand how the lives and environments of others can relate to certain disabilities. This information will help me understand how the environment influences peoples’ behavior. The next course in my contract is HE3220 Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living. In this course we learn about fundamental concepts of nutrition that are relevant to developing professionals in health field. This course allows me to understand how foods effect healthy living. HE3700 Drug Behavior will help me understand current scientific information regarding the relationship of drugs to mental and physical health. This is another key course to my program of Pre-OT because I will be working with patients that are prescribed varies drugs. Knowing what certain drugs do and when to inform a patient to take certain drugs is key.

The next course is SW3500 Health and Sociology. In this course we will examine current issues and problems in health, illness and health care delivery from a domestic and global perspective. As professionals in the health field I feel as though is a fundamental class we all should take. We need to understand the problems that people face through issues that prevent healthy living. The next course is MA2300 Statistics. This course is my QRCO course and it consist of both descriptive and inferential statistics. Statistics is important to every discipline and its uses when interpreting data. In my program I can use it to understand the evidence supporting OT research.

My next course is BI4780 NeuroBiology. This course examines the function of the nervous system in the brain and body. This course is another key course to my program. As OT’s, we work with people who have disabilities that mostly arise from nervous system dysfunction. It is important to how abnormalities occur in the system. The next class is BI2120 Human Anatomy and Physiology II. This class is another fundamental class that all health professionals need. This course examines the systems with in of the entire human body and how they work. Without this class every other health course I would take I would be lost because I would not have the fundamental information. Lastly the last class on my contract is BI2140 Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab II. This class goes hand in hand with the lecture part of A&P. It is just as important because it allows students to get hands on experience to what they are learning in lecture. Without this lab it would be hard to understand the concepts of the body because there is no visual aid to correspond with the lecture information.

I know that Pre-Occupational Therapy was a very interdisciplinary major, but as I reviewed my contract I got to fully see just how many disciplinaries are incorporated into the program. The major’s key disciplines are biology and psychology, but there are others such as health and math. This is incredible to see because as an interdisciplinary program I believe the more disciplines that are intertwined together the more there is to be learned. I will take all this and mix it together with my previous knowledge to continue my pursuit of an OT degree.


I am currently in the last semester of my undergraduate. Everything is seemly falling into place, but that was not without a few hiccups. I had to figure out how I would take Neurobiology because the class was not offered this spring semester . I needed this class this semester to graduate on time because I have no room in my schedule. I had to fill out an individual enrollment and create an outline of the book and sit in on certain labs to be able to graduate on time. Thankfully, many professors and my adviser help me out and it all turned out well. Over winter break to start planning for graduate school. My two options are UNH and MCHPS; these are the only two schools in New Hampshire that offer a Masters in Occupational Therapy. I have fully completed my application for UNH and am currently waiting on the response right now. The deadline for MCHPS is on March 1st so I still have about a month to get everything in order. I am happy with my contract courses and I am starting to see how all these courses throughout different disciplines are coming together to create one large picture. A picture of seeing the same information, but from different perspectives. I am beyond ready to being Senior Seminar and close this chapter of undergrad and open a whole new one, furthering myself into the working world.

IDS Essay

When I first thought about pursing my career in Occupational Therapy (OT) I did not know the road that I wanted to take. When my adviser first told me about IDS that was my first time ever hearing about it. When she began explaining it to it caught my interest to be able to reach a major, but do it in ways that allow me to get information from multiple disciplines; before I took the class I thought I would be reviewing information about OT from within the class. While this is a little true through my Personal Learning Network (PLN); the class was something completely different. The definition of interdisciplinary was pretty straight forward to me. I understand that it meant taking courses and gathering information from different disciplines, I just did not understand the concept of how it would be preformed. Over the course of my semester my understanding of IDS changed from believing it was just about learning from multiple disciplines, but more about being able to take what you learning from these multiple disciplines and making connection between them. Making connections that will not only help you get the most of of courses, even if there not directly related to your field, but the take what you learned and integrate it into your actual life outside of the school setting. To be able to apply the skills to your actual person.

One of the more interesting topics that we have covered in this course to me would have to be transdisciplinary. The connection and coming together of scholars and workers in a community to better it in some way. I find it awesome because to do this there has to be such a level of organization, teamwork, and communication. This is something that the regular school systems lacks to teach. We are all so one sided and learn only in our own field that sometimes these transdisciplinary projects are not seen as much; maybe because one side wants to much credit or can not work properly with others. This concept of communicating with other scholars, workers, and parents

will come in handy when i am in the work field. I will need to be able to talk to doctors, parents, and others if I want to give the best care to my patient. Open education is another concept that caught my interest, however this concept I am still on the fence about a little but I do not believe that is a bad thing. Open education is a system that allows both the student and the teacher to create the course and its lay out from the start of the course. The students help develop the content they will learning and the projects they will preform. The reason I am on the fence about this is because on way side I could see this working out well. The students will be motivated and grades could see an increase because they are studying what they enjoy. However, the students could lack the proper guidance and fall through the cracks or the curriculum may not be intense enough. Open education has to be the perfect mix of the students being free and the professor being strict. Lastly, PLN’s are a concept that I enjoyed preforming. I always see business major’s developing their PLN’s through apps, before I enrolled in IDS I never once was told about PLN’s. Even in my major classes there were no assistance or even mentions of PLN’s and I think this is a great disservice. PLN’s allow us to gather information and communicate with others all at the same time; building connections and bridges that can be used for time to come.

Interdisciplinary studies courses are important for universities because they allow for a new way of learning. This way is a more open way that helps people understand the information they are retaining from a class and relate that information no only with themselves, but with others as well. This way of thinking is what helps groups of people come together and create wonderful and innovative projects. The swing that was made for people in wheelchairs that I mention is an early post is an great example. For me my hopes for the future are as bright as ever. Next year in my last semester I would complete the Senior IDS course and then graduate. Hopefully, than enter graduate school and allow my information that I learned throughout my previous schooling propel me into greater opportunities. Justin Ried

Personal Learning Network

A personal learning network or other known as a (PLN) is a network that an individual can create online that is heavily integrated into their field. They follow top organizations and scholars in their field so they can get current news and updates about what is going on in their field. They also use this PLN to engage in scholarly and even friendly communicating with others in their there field. This communication can help lead to creating bridges and connection for possible future work or even to create future references to go to for help in certain situations. My PLN is weaved heavily into the Occupational Therapy and a little into the Health Service community. I would follow top scholars in the field as well as top organizations. This is how I began to build my PLN by following and interacting with these people and organizations. The use of PLN’s is greatly important for connected learning and an Open Pedagogy style of education.

My PLN for me has been beneficial in many ways as shown below:

What did your research tell you about how people share ideas in your fields.  People in the Occupational Therapy field share their ideas throughout all social media. I follow many Instagram and Twitter accounts that give very insightful post. Many of them even linking articles so you can find the information for yourself as well.

What tools will best allow you to learn about new ideas in your fields? Tools such as scholarly articles and following the top scholars in the field allow me to find new ideas that people are constantly bringing up. This important because in health feilds information is constantly changing and we as scholars need to stay up to date.

What tools will best allow you to connect with scholars and professionals in your fields? My PLN is the best way for me to connect with others in my field. It is an entire network where individuals can share information and talk back and forth about that information.

What tools will best allow you to share you own knowledge, experiences, and ideas with other people in your fields? Just as my PLN is the best thing for me to connect with others in my field, it is also the best way for me to share information as well. I have to stay active and posting information and talking weekly so I can gain some sort of following.

How public do you want to be? Why? Personal as of now I want to stay not to the public. This is only because I still have a lot more to learn as I will be attending graduate school soon. After I want to be as public as possible so I can network and talk to my peers that I work with.

How will you engage at least once a week with your Personal Learning Network? I will engage by being active on my twitter. This means tweeting, favoriting, and retweeting others tweets.

How will you know if your PLN is serving you well or not? I will now my PLN is working as my interactions and notifications start increases. This means I have others interacting with me and starting to gain a presence in the network of my field.

Open Pedagogy is a way of teaching that is accessible for everyone. It allows an open sharing of information over the internet; this sharing of information is open, affordable, and widely available for everyone. The good thing about this style of learning is that is not stagnating, it is constantly adapting as the world changes. An open pedagogy style of teaching also allows the student to take charge of their own learning, this is due to the how open the learning is between the teacher and student.  “–Some concrete ways that students and teachers—all of us learners—can “open” education.” (DeRosa & Jhangiani). The courses can be created from the ground up by the students and the teacher creating the curriculum and policies. Connected learning allows all students to gather information from classes and connect them to their everyday life. With this connection information can be retained for future endeavors, not just for a test that needs to be passed.

In summary, an open education allows students to take charge and understand their own learning. Students will perform better work when they are not told they have to do something, but rather want to purpose the interest of learning for there own with guidance from their educator. In my own experience, my PLN has just begun it is nowhere near close to being finished, but it has already helped me in many ways. By building my PLN I have already dove into the world of my own major and understand how they communicate and was subjected to relevant information daily. With this constant availability of new information, it helps me stay relevant in my constantly changing occupation. This is very important because it allows me to stay fresh and provide the best treatment for my patients. My PLN will also allow me to create connections and opportunities for the future as I continue to develop it.

Course Learning Summary

As I started  IDS this semester I have began to learn how to fully get the entire worth out of a class. Even if this class may not be fully represent something to do with my major I have learned to take my own action and my learning and somehow make connection. These connections are not only ones that have to do with my major, but connections into my personal life outside of school. It is important to take the information we learn and be able to incorporate them into out everyday lives; if we can not do this then what we learn in our courses will just be forgotten after our tests.

Research Statistics in Athletic Training was a course that I took last semester.  This course showed me how to interpreting data through research and how to properly interpret data from research in ways that can support a claim. I can use this information to understand the evidence supporting OT research. Then furthermore, after the data is interpreted I can use it to make informed clinical decisions. This will allow me to provide the best treatment for my patients and have enough base of evidence to support the treatment decisions i make with other scholars both in and outside of my field.

I also enrolled in Life-Span Psychology last semester. This course taught the principles of underlying physical, cognitive, emotional and social development through an individual life. Life can be very unpredictable; OT’s need to understand predisposing conditions for certain disabilities in life. The best part about this class was the fact that to covered the entire life span, from birth to becoming an elder. The reason this was key to me because the course material was not lost throughout taking the course. What we learned from early on in life and predisposing factors had to be retained the entire time because the course builds of what was previously learned.

In conclusion both of these courses integrate into my major by establishment a foundation of information that I can make educated decisions for different patients. Even individuals with the same diagnose may react to certain treatments differently so being able to research and read data allows for the flexibility of my decisions later on in my profession.

Pedagogical Model for Interdisciplinary Doctoral Education Summary

Education has remained practically similar for decades with very little innovation and change to adjust to the rapidly changing world we live in today. We focus on specialization of certain jobs and very default test that require is just to learn factual information. However, even jobs that may seem very factual are never by the book in the working word. Yes, a doctor needs to know all the bones and muscles in a body, but they are also faced with complex problems that may rely on them take a step back and view a problems with different arrays of scholars and people.

In this article the authors go over the importance of an interdisciplinary pedagogical model even in disciplines of that require doctoral education. They explain multiple examples of problems that doctors can face that may not be fully taught in a normal pedagogical model. They may have to model design, team manage, communicate with other scholars in different disciplines, and be able to see other perspectives such as the patients or the patients loved ones.  Nilsa Bosque Perez stated that “interdisciplinarity is crucial for addressing the complex problems society faces” and there new pedagogical model “could strengthen doctoral education by preparing scientists to work collaboratively on complex problems that affect coupled social–ecological systems globally”. This integration into a comprehensive, theoretically grounded and deeply integrated approach has been lacking from our education and this hopefully will change soon.

As I was reading through this article I found myself directly relating to it more and more. As I enter the discipline of Occupational Therapy  I will have to be working with many people and therefore will be experiencing many problems from different aspects. I will need to understand the perspective of my patient, be able to communicate with their doctors and family, and may even possible conduct transdisciplinary projects to create the best outcome for the patient.

BOSQUE-PÉREZ, N. A., KLOS, P. Z., FORCE, J. E., WAITS, L. P., CLEARY, K., RHOADES, P., & … HOLBROOK, J. D. (2016). A Pedagogical Model for Team-Based, Problem-Focused Interdisciplinary Doctoral Education. Bioscience66(6), 477-488.

Two Statement Post

Statement #1: Undergraduates benefit from using technology to connect with their scholarly and professional communities.

Statement #2: A personal learning network(PLN) can expand educational opportunities for students.

Scholarly and professional communities are communities that conduct conferences, publish journals, create degrees, engage in collaborative research, and offer internships in their fields.  With the use of technology we are able to broaden our connection with these scholars and professionals. Therefore we are able to stay connected with the relative and forever new information in our fields of study. We are able to look up when conferences are being held, search for a vast number of newly published journals and even communicate with scholars over a long distance. Some of the challenges of this style of learning called connected learning is not everyone is up to bar or has a lot of knowledge with technology. With a learning systems so prominently based in technology those who are not as technologically savvy as others may find themselves left behind.

A personal learning network is network that one can create online that is heavily integrated into their field. They follow top organizations and scholars in their field so they can get current news and updates about what is going on in their field. A PLN is important to develop because it helps us with continued learning after we are complete with our schooling. This is especially important in fields that are always changing and learning new information. While developing your PLN it may be difficult to fully develop because it takes a lot if time to create those connections. You need to constantly check the PLN and interact with individuals to gain following and the proper information cycle.

An specific example out of our group of connected learning was when one of has to attend a conference for their field. The person had to go on the website of the organisation and find dates when they were hosting a conference. At the conference were scholars and other students exchanging information. Another member of the group has taken time to search across websites and scholar data bases to find journals and articles in their field to gain more current information. An example that we both had for a PLN is our PLN that we had to create for the IDS class. We created these over Twitter and had to search for the top organisations and scholars in our field; having to actively engage every day to build followings and proper information on our timelines.

Chris Moore

Interdisciplinary Success Story

As we know many kids with medical problems have trouble preforming everyday task that other kids would do for fun. The Creekmore Park in Fort Smith, Arkansas installed a swing that was accessible to children in wheelchairs. Early in March Seth Allen was one of now many children that was able to have fun just like all the other kids. Allen was filmed laughing and smiling while riding the swing for the fist time; the video went viral over the internet with more than 500,000 people’s days brightened up from the video. Trish, the mother, stated “We`ve always had to do our own thing as far as making the world accessible to Seth, so something like this coming along sort of takes the burden off of us,”It`s one less battle for us in having to make the world accessible to him.” A committee from First Presbyterian Church in Fort Smith along with park staff helped make the project possible.  Keley Simpson, missions facilitator said “We wanted to find a way to give back to our community and recognize all people with disabilities. For this project to fully develop people from the disciplines of engineering and medical professionals had to communicate with those in the community of the city and church make sure everything was up to par. This transdisciplinary partnership is a wonderful example of how scholars and workers can come together to better their own community. Even citizens from anywhere around the country can help due to a fundraising project through the Parks and Recreation website which will be up shortly stated in the article; click here to go to the page.

via @ABC 

Interdisciplinary Learning

Interdisciplinary studies (IDS) is a course that is completely new and fresh to me; I didn’t even know what interdisciplinary was until the beginning of my junior year when my adviser mentioned it to me. What first attracted me to IDS was hearing my adviser explain what the course was. The thought of being able to take course from multiple disciplines and combine then to do what you wanted to do was the best of both worlds to me. I could follow my passion of Occupational Therapy, while learning content from multiple different perspectives. The ability to learn from multiple perspectives would be what I find most attractive about an interdisciplinary learning approach.

Interdisciplinarity has already taught me a great amount about different styles of learning and hopefully how learning will be in the near future. The ability to have your own personal data base to place all your work where it is not lost provides so much benefits. Students can feel more proud and engaged about their own work and they have the chance to show their work to the world. This creates more of a drive to want to create work knowing that the work is not only going to a professor for them to mark it up and give it a grade. With this new drive and pride in the student’s work it can lead to more creative thinking and work; especially if it is being show to the public. Moti Nissani states “The act of creation may also arise from the permutation of ideas from two or more disciplines. Thomas Kuhn, for instance, noticed the striking similarity between a gestalt switch (psychology) and a paradigmatic shift (history of science)”. Interdisciplinarity also should me the true power of networks and social media. I have always known the power of networking and the bridges that it creates, but I never truly saw the power of social media until now. As we continue in the future technology continues to grow and the education system needs to grow with it and use social media and technology to the fullest.  Our personal learning networks (PNL) that we have created through Twitter has shown me if used in the correct way just how much educational information there is even on a social media platform.

In the future an interdisciplinary learning approach will have numerous benefits not only for my continued education but in the far future when I am out in the working world. In this world I will be working with many people from many different disciplines. Having a interdisciplinary background will predispose me to seeing and working on problems from many different perspectives and disciplines. A lot of transdisciplinary work will be preformed as well and having the knowledge to work with a group of people from many fields and job types can help me organize my thinking for the best possible solution to many problems.  I am eager and excited to continue learning more and seeing what life has ahead of me.